Friday, Nov 28, 2014

Hulk Hogan hosts grand opening for Clearwater Beach store today

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 07:13 PM

This time, Hulk Hogan wants everyone to see his business.

The grand opening of his new Clearwater store, Hogan's Beach Shop, is slated for 10 a.m. today with a meet-and greet featuring some of his pro wrestling pals.

The store, at 483 Mandalay Ave, in the Pelican Walk Plaza on Clearwater Beach, will sell Hogan-related merchandise and show off memorabilia.

The venture has been in the works for months, but it comes on the heels of an embarrassing sex-tape scandal for the pro wrestler.

This month, Hogan announced he was suing friend and radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, ex-wife Heather Clem and a website that posted an explicit video of Hogan having sex with Heather Clem.

Hogan has said he didn't not know the consensual 2006 encounter was being filmed and was devastated by its release to Gawker.com. Hogan's $100 million federal suit against the website claims invasion of privacy.

This week, a Hillsborough County judge denied Hogan's request for a temporary restraining order that would have forced removal of the video from the site until a Nov. 8 hearing.

While the lurid legal battle brews, Saturday's store opening should bring more welcome attention for the wrestling star and longtime Tampa Bay area resident.

Among those expected at the meet-and-greet are wrestling personalities Austin Aries, Jimmy Hart, Jeremy Borash and Abyss. Hogan is offering passes to the event to those who call (727) 461-0099.

Appearing on "Fox & Friends" during the Republican National Convention in August, Hogan, 59, talked about his decision to be a business owner after years in the ring.

"I'm having to reinvent myself," he said. "You can't wrestle until you're 95 years old so I'm opening Hogan's Beach Shop, right in Clearwater."

Like many small business owners, Hogan lives close to home. He recently bought a 8,820-square-foot house for $3 million on Clearwater Beach after selling his Belleair mansion in April.

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